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Thread: Total Newbie needs installation help

  1. #1
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    Question Total Newbie needs installation help

    After about six months of thinking about it, I've finally decided to take the Linux plunge with Ubuntu. But before I start, I'd like to put my system up for comment and help suggestions. I've got the Ubuntu Manual and have read the installation section, but it doesn't address things in detail.

    I currently have Windows XP, SP3 32 bit installed. One reason I'm delving into Linux is that MS is going to quit supporting XP next year, and I want an alternative that is not MS. So in a year, I'll be exclusively Linux but in the meantime I'll be dual booting.

    Motherboard is Asus P5G41-M; Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz Wolfdale 45nm Technology, but I'm thinking of upgrading to a Core 2 Quad or Quad Extreme (used). I do not know if these are 64 bit capable, but since the motherboard is Windows 7 Ready, I would hope it and the processor would be. I have not yet googled for the actual specs. On the processor, hyperthreading (whatever that is) is not supported.

    Memory is 4g of Dual Channel DDR2@400mhz. If I were to install the 64 bit Ubuntu, I would also add memory to max out the system at 8g.

    I currently have two HDs. One is a 250G that is partitioned into a 115G with the Windows Operating System. The other 110G is raw and has not been formatted. The other HD is a 500G empty NTFS formatted that could easily be partitioned and each reformatted into any file system.

    I know that Linux has its own file discrete file systems but also that Ubuntu works with NTFS.

    So here are my questions. Since I have already got a partition for Ubuntu that present but not formatted, how would I go about installing Ubuntu there? Dual boot seems to be built into Ubuntu, so would there be a problem with that if the partition involved was formatted for Linux? On the second HD, should I just leave it NTFS, or should I partition it also into NTFS for Windows use and have another partition for the Linux file system?

    Should I get the 64 bit or the 32 bit Linux?

    Advice is greatly appreciated because I would like to have the most efficient Linux system possible, and I would like to do this correctly from the getgo. After this gets answered, if it does, I'll have some more Hardware questions.
    Last edited by vineyridge; March 5th, 2013 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Well 32 bit should be fine. Don't really see the need for more than 4gb right now. I would just format the unformatted space during install to ext4 and use mount point / and save a few gb and use that as swap. It's really not very complex. Formatting is probably the most difficult part of installing ubuntu and they make it super easy on the uninstaller.
    Whoever came up with the phrase "There is no such thing as a stupid question" obviously never had the internet.

  3. #3
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    I would go for 64-bit.

    There is absolutely no reason not to use the 64-bit version if your hardware is capable of running it (it is).

    For the most trouble free installation I would unplug all of your hard drives except the one you wish to install Ubuntu to, then run the installation and select 'use the entire drive'. Once Ubuntu is up and running you can plug the other drives back in and set up grub (the Ubuntu bootloader) to dual boot with your Windows installation.

    This method ensures you don't accidentally overwrite any of your other drives.

    Can you give us the details of your graphics card please. Knowing this will let people suggest the most appropriate version of Ubuntu to install.
    Cheesemill

  4. #4
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Hi vineyridge. Welcome to the forums

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Motherboard is Asus P5G41-M; Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz Wolfdale 45nm Technology,...

    Memory is 4g of Dual Channel DDR2@400mhz....
    That would work well with Ubuntu 32b and 64b.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    I currently have two HDs. One is a 250G that is partitioned into a 115G with the Windows Operating System. The other 110G is raw and has not been formatted. The other HD is a 500G empty NTFS formatted that could easily be partitioned and each reformatted into any file system.
    Although Ubuntu can work with NTFS, it needs to boot from a Linux filesystem. In the installation process you'll need to format that 110Gb partition to something like ext4 to properly install Ubuntu on it. You can leave the other disk as NTFS and share data between both OSes.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Should I get the 64 bit or the 32 bit Linux?
    Both would be valid options. It's debatable which one its better, but I would go 64b.
    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Advice is greatly appreciated because I would like to have the most efficient Linux system possible, and I would like to do this correctly from the getgo. After this gets answered, if it does, I'll have some more Hardware questions.
    Since you have the budget to upgrade, I'd recommend investing on a graphic card instead:
    • Later versions of Ubuntu are more graphic intensive (although you can go with something less intensive like Xubuntu).
    • You would need it to play HD video.
    • If you are interesting on some gaming (Steam, Humble Bundle), the experience would be greatly improved.

    Hope that helps. Come here often and have fun.
    Regards.

  5. #5
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    ...I would like to have the most efficient Linux system possible
    Then go for Xubuntu or Lubuntu. You don't need extra hardware.

    Remember to test the system in a live boot as a first step.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  6. #6
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    I currently have two HDs. One is a 250G that is partitioned into a 115G with the Windows Operating System. The other 110G is raw and has not been formatted. The other HD is a 500G empty NTFS formatted that could easily be partitioned and each reformatted into any file system.

    If you intend to do the install with both drives attached you should first boot with a Live CD and investigate your drives.
    Use the "Try Ubuntu" option and find the "Disc info" utility.
    This link will tell you more https://help.ubuntu.com/8.04/install...ice-names.html

    Make a written note of your drive names /dev/sda1 , /dev/sda2 etc. so that you do not overwrite any of your data.

    A better idea as suggested above is to remove the Windows drive so that you can safely experiment with the other one.
    You could then boot with a Live CD in "Try" mode, install Gparted and partition the 500GB drive how you like.
    I would start by deleting the existing partition.
    Then create a 50Gb primary partition (Formatted Ext4) for the operating system
    Then a secondary partition (formatted Ext4) to fill all but 10Gb for your data and a swap partition in the remainder. (Formatted as Swap)

    Gparted is fairly simple to use and nothing will actually happen until you click "Apply" on the top menu. This makes it easy to undo your changes and generally experiment with the options

    When you come to do the real install you just tag the first partition as root by entering a "/".
    The second as home by entering "/home" and the third will have already been formatted as swap and should just appear as such.
    This is easier to do than to explain.

    I have to sleep now, I will check your progress tomorrow. Have fun!

  7. #7
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Thanks for the advice. So far I'm still in the preparation stage, but was already planning to use a Live CD for learning. I think Lubuntu would work quite well with my very old (2000) IBM Thinkpad 600x with a 25G HD; but I do know with that one that the old CD-ROM drive presents a problem, so that's going to be a later migration project.

    If I can run the standard Ubuntu, would there be a reason why I would want to go with a different flavor?

    I do not have a separate graphics card, but am using the integrated video and audio that came with the motherboard. Board has an Intel G41 chipset with and the graphics come from Intel GMA X4500. I have an PCI Express x 16 slot available for a graphics card, so suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not really much of a gamer, but I have noticed some slow redrawing in some that I have tried.

    Other Hardware to consider:
    External HDs
    old 180 G WD Dual Media Center using USB (NTFS)
    1 T WD My Book Essential 2.0 (USB) I save mostly to this drive. All my work is here, not on the internal drives.
    500G Toshiba Canvio USB
    I swap the Toshiba and the Media Center between the desktop and the laptop.

    Printers:
    Kodak ESP All in One 2150 inkjet. This is also my only scanner, copier, and also has a fax.
    Samsung CLP 315 AXX.
    Both are USB. I swap the Samsung between the desktop and the laptop

    Keyboard--generic Dell clicky type with a PS2 connector
    Mouse/Mice--Very OLD Logitech Vista Trackball which is using the generic Windows MS driver because I can't seem to find Logitech software that will work and restore the extra button functionality. PS2 Connector. I also have in reserve a Logitech Trackman Marble Wheel (USB connector) and a Logitech Marble FX (PS2 connector). Both would be using the generic driver. I still have the installation CDs for the latter, but I'm not sure if they would work with XP Pro, SP3.
    Old Starlogic (cheap) CRT monitor that uses generic MS Windows drivers. I still have the documentation, but forget offhand what it's capable of. I usually run 1240 x 1024 at 60 hz.

    Since I do not have data on the internal drives, I'm not too worried about losing what I have. Since my original Windows internal HD drive wouldn't boot because of damaged sectors, what I have now is very new and expendable. Eventually, I hope to clone the damaged drive onto another 500 G and install it in the computer. That one does have things that I need. Naturally the back-up software that I was using didn't work to restore the partition images, so I'm basically at square two with what I am using now. Both HDs are new with very little on them.

    I use Open Office for my Office Suite.

    My original thought was to use the unformatted 110G partition on the Windows OS drive for Ubuntu and also partition the 500G into an NTFS side and a Ubuntu side, but if I can boot from the second drive, I might just use the whole drive for Ubuntu and format the other half of the Windows Drive to NTFS.
    Last edited by vineyridge; March 6th, 2013 at 02:38 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    If I can run the standard Ubuntu, would there be a reason why I would want to go with a different flavor?
    This is a matter of personal preference. It will depend on how do you put value on easy to use, performance and personal taste.

    Without a dedicated graphic card, Xubuntu will be very noticeable faster, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    I have an PCI Express x 16 slot available for a graphics card, so suggestions would be appreciated.
    I'd recommend an Nvidia card. I've read good reviews on the 550Ti card. I would upgrade my 9500 to that, If I had the budget.

    Regards.

  9. #9
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    I just went to the Xubuntu site and saw nothing about Live CD. Is that an option with Xubuntu?

  10. #10
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    Re: Total Newbie needs installation help

    Quote Originally Posted by papibe View Post
    This is a matter of personal preference. It will depend on how do you put value on easy to use, performance and personal taste.

    Without a dedicated graphic card, Xubuntu will be very noticeable faster, though.

    I'd recommend an Nvidia card. I've read good reviews on the 550Ti card. I would upgrade my 9500 to that, If I had the budget.

    Regards.
    I have a 550 ti and it works great though it has been obsoleted by the gtx 650
    only complaint is it does not run heaven 4.0 worth a crap it does ok on 3.0
    it is a gpu benchmarking program


    xubuntu has a live cd/dvd, all *buntu variants do
    http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/re...12.10/release/
    you could just go and try the 13.04 alpha release, i have had good luck with it, my main 12.10 install is a 13.04/12.10 hybrid
    http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/daily-live/current/
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